Pangasinan Historical & Cultural Commission formed
December 19, 2010 1:12 am
By Leonardo V. Micua
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Dec. 18 — The Sangguniang Panlalawigan here has passed a provincial ordinance (No. 9-2010), considered as a landmark legislation, creating the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission (PHCC), a permanent body that will institutionalize the province’s rich history and culture.
Authored by Board Members Mojamito Libunao and Ranjit Ramos Shahani and co-authored by all board members present, the landmark ordinance was was passed with Board Member Alfonso Bince Jr. seconding it.
“It is history that unites the people, it is what gives them pride in their place, it is what impels them and compels them to make even more commitment to the province,” said Libunao in explaining his measure.
He said the commission will help the province of Pangasinan regain its premier status as a premier province of the Philippines and the body will be a very powerful ingredient towards making this vision a reality
Libunao, a lawyer and former three-term mayor of San Fabian, said the support of the people to their government is better enhanced if they take pride in the history of their province.
The PHCC, he said, seeks to preserve the complete and accurate works of historians and writers of the present and past generations so that these relevant information can be disseminated to the people.
“We are glad that today, we have started the task of accurately and completely telling our history as a people which would hopefully unite all of us Pangasinenses,” said Libunao.
Libunao clarified that the PHCC will be a regular commission of the province of Pangasinan which would continue beyond the present provincial administration and whose officials will be appointed by the provincial governor.
Already identified to assume the position of chairman or the executive director of PHCC is Dr. Gonzalo T. Duque, president of Lyceum-Northwestern University and former vice governor of Pangasinan who has a proven track record in the related fields of academe, history, social, public service and law.
As a leading leader of the academe in Pangasinan, Duque earlier spearheaded a committee created by Governor Amado Espino Jr. that researched on the actual date when Pangasinan was founded by Spain as a province on April 5, 1580.
Duque hailed the creation of the PHCC, admitting that the idea of putting up the body was originally suggested by Sunday Punch publisher Ermin Garcia Jr. in his editorial, which he communicated with members of the SP.
Duque said the PHCC will, among other responsibilities, coordinate in documenting events and historical facts pertaining to Pangasinan and even in the naming of places after heroes and those who made a mark in the history of the province and even in the declaration of historical and cultural sites.
He stressed that the commission will spearhead the writing of a more detailed history book about Pangasinan and will even go to the extent of validating facts that are found in the history book, yet is now the subject of debates by scholars.
Duque told newsmen the historical committee that researched on the exact date when the province of Pangasinan was founded is now examining records of what appeared to be a first mass in the Philippines by the Spaniards, said to be held in the town of Bolinao, Pangasinan and believed held earlier than that in Limasawa Island.
The committee, he said, is also going to validate the existence of the legendary Princess Urduja who was known to have ruled the Amazon kingdom of Caboloan (the first name given to the province of Pangasinan).
Urduja is the name given to the official residence of Pangasinan governors, a few meters away from the provincial capitol.
Duque said that once the Pangasinan history book is out, they will move that this be integrated into the school curriculum in high school so that every student in the province would know their roots.
Section 3 of the provincial ordinance provides the creation of a Board of Commissioners comprising of 10 members representing agencies of government and private sectors imbued with expertise and interest in the areas of history, culture and other allied studies to be appointed by the provincial governor with a term of five years.
All these will serve without salaries, but may be entitled to honorarium for every session attended.
The Board of Commissioners shall recommend to the provincial governor the appointment of an executive director who will be the administrator of the Commission with a term of five years with compensation to be determined by the Board of Commissioners.
Section 5 of the ordinance provides that the provincial government shall include in its regular annual budget an appropriation of not less than P100,000 which shall be used for the maintenance, operation and other purposes of the Commission. (PNA)